Chiellini predicts stronger Juventus
Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini has issued a warning to the club's rivals, saying the current Serie A champions want to begin a winning era in Italy. The Old Lady are currently on an incredible 43-match unbeaten run in the Italian top flight, and have taken maximum points from their opening four league matches this season, while they battled back from two goals down to draw with European champions Chelsea in their opening Champions League fixture.
However, Chiellini has stressed that the Bianconeri must not rest on their laurels, and feels they must build on their recent success to establish a period of dominance in the game.
"We think we are a stronger team compared to last year, but we must not relax for a second," he said in Italian newspaper Il Messaggero.
"For the players, the Juventus of Capello was a stronger team than us, that one was a team formed by football superstars. We, instead, have improved in a short time. We want to open a cycle as Inter did after Calciopoli."
Juventus will be forced to spend most of this season with coach Antonio Conte on the sidelines, after he was issued a 10-month global ban from football in the wake of the Scommessopoli scandal.
Chiellini admits that his presence on the touchlines is a huge loss, but that the team are fully in support of their coach and are desperate for success in his absence.
The 28-year-old said: "We are all with him. I thought we would not, but we miss him so much on the bench.
"He transmits grit to us with his words and also he knows how to solve difficult situations during the game. To win without him on the bench would be something incredible."
There have been suggestions within the Italian media that Conte could watch Tuesday's match with Fiorentina from the stands, and Chiellini said that he did not foresee a problem should their boss wish to attend.
"He can't watch the match seated in the main stand in Florence stadium? (Owners Diego and Andrea) Della Valle, except in the Berbatov case, have always behaved like gentlemen with Juventus. I do not see why he should not be there," he said.
The Italy defender also refused to be drawn on the issue surrounding Lazio midfielder Stefano Mauri, who escaped similar punishment to Conte in the aftermath of the match-fixing scandal earlier this year.
"The fact is that Mauri is innocent until someone brings evidence to the contrary," he said. "Before making hype more evidence is needed. It’s the wrong way to act. This way you slam monsters on the front page - as it was for Conte".